Japanese knotweed removal

Japanese Knotweed Removal: Taming the Invasive Weed

Have you ever come across a plant that seems to have a mind of its own, spreading rapidly and wreaking havoc on your garden or property? Japanese knotweed is one such notorious invader that strikes fear into the hearts of homeowners and landowners alike. In this article, we will delve into the world of Japanese knotweed, exploring its characteristics, the problems it poses, and the best methods for its removal.

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What Is Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed, scientifically known as Reynoutria japonica, is a highly invasive plant species native to East Asia. Introduced to the Western world as an ornamental plant in the 19th century, it quickly became a botanical bully. This perennial plant can grow up to 10 feet tall, with bamboo-like stems and spade-shaped leaves. Its aggressive nature and ability to spread rapidly make it a nightmare for property owners.

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knotweed infestation?

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The Problem of Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed removal may seem excessive but its extensive root system can penetrate deep into the ground, undermining foundations, walls, drainage systems and even tarmac. This can lead to potential damage to buildings and infrastructure, causing significant problems for construction companies, local authorities and house builders looking to build properties or commercial buildings.

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Environmental Impact

Not only does Japanese knotweed cause havoc in built environments, but it also poses a threat to native ecosystems. Knotweed’s rapid growth outcompetes native flora, reducing biodiversity and disrupting natural habitats. This invader can smother other plant species, leaving a barren landscape in its wake. Japanese knotweed removal is vital to preserving the delicate balance of our ecosystems.

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Our Accreditations

As we have been established since 2002, we have built an extensive library of industry accreditations and certifications. This helps to ensure both our level of expertise and also to provide reassurance in our implementation and professional approach to Japanese Knotweed treatment.

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Identifying Japanese Knotweed

To effectively treat Japanese knotweed, it is crucial to be able to identify it correctly. The invasive weed has distinct characteristics that set it apart from other similar-looking species. Look for the following key features:

Guide to identification

Bamboo-like Stems: Japanese knotweed stems (or canes) are hollow, with distinctive nodes, resembling bamboo canes. They are green in colour with purple speckles.

Red-Purple Shoots: Spear-like shoots emerge that are dark red / purple in colour with tightly rolled leaves.

Spade-Shaped Leaves: The leaves are flat at the base, smooth edges and a pointed tip. Leaves are arranged alternately along the stem.

Distinctive Flowers: Small, creamy-white flowers bloom in late summer or early autumn.

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Japanese Knotweed Removal Methods

Removing Japanese knotweed can be a challenging task due to its resilience and ability to regenerate from tiny fragments. Controlling Japanese knotweed is an ongoing process that requires aftercare to ensure the prevention of Japanese knotweed growing back. Various methods can be employed to tackle this persistent intruder.

Professional Knotweed Removal

Engaging a professional Japanese knotweed removal service such as ours, is often the most effective way to get rid of a Japanese knotweed infestation.

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Our process is as follows:

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Identify the Japanese knotweed – There are various ways we can identify Japanese knotweed, the easiest is for you to send a photo of the suspicious plant to us. We will know almost instantly if you have a Knotweed problem on your hands.

Japanese knotweed identification


If we believe there to be an infestation, we will come to your site and survey, to establish the full extent of the infestation and to allow us to plan the full scope of the Japanese knotweed eradication.

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After we have completed the survey, we will provide a range of treatment solutions, bespoke to your sites requirements.

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We will provide a price breakdown, detailing the Japanese Knotweed removal cost. We as well as include on going monitoring programmes and insurance backed guarantees.

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Our experienced, in-house specialist team will carry out the treatment to the highest of standards.

Japanese Knotweed Treatment Methods


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Herbicide Treatment

We use approved herbicides to control Japanese knotweed. Herbicides, including Glyphosate based products, are highly effective at treating this notorious plant. Glyphosate based herbicides are applied onto the foliage of the plant using a knapsack sprayer. The glyphosate herbicide treatment can also be injected into the stem. Stem injection is most suitable for ecologically sensitive areas where spraying is not suitable.


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Excavation and Removal

In some cases, excavation may be necessary to remove the plant entirely. Mechanical removal is a highly effective but more costly method of Japanese knotweed eradication since it requires large amounts of soil removal over a wide area. It is usually the preferred option for those requiring a quick solution, such as developers, rather than for domestic gardens where it isn’t deemed necessary.


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The MeshTech method

The MeshTech method is an eco-friendly means of controlling the spread and removal of Japanese knotweed. Designed by Dr Eric Connelly and JKSL, the method does not use any chemicals, and therefore leaves the lowest possible on-site footprint where it is used. It is also useful in preserving soil fertility and controlling soil erosion, especially along river banks


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Don’t Let That Suspicious Weed Grow

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Effectiveness of Removal Methods

While various removal methods exist, each has its pros and cons. The effectiveness of a particular method depends on factors such as the extent of the infestation, end use of the site, the location and the resources available. It is essential to have the area assessed carefully so we can recommend the most suitable approach to achieve long-lasting results. Our insurance backed guarantee gives you peace of mind and all our works are carried out in line with the latest industry Code of Practice.

Challenges and Risks

Dealing with Japanese knotweed is not without its challenges and risks. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Persistence: Japanese knotweed can regenerate from even the tiniest fragments, making thorough removal a must.
  2. Legal Compliance: Ensure compliance with local regulations and obtain necessary permissions when removing or disposing of Japanese knotweed.
  3. Professional Expertise: Handling Japanese knotweed requires specialised knowledge and expertise to minimise the risks associated with its removal.
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Long-Term Management

Successfully removing Japanese knotweed is just the beginning. A long-term Knotweed management plan is essential to prevent its re-establishment. Consider the following measures:

  1. Regular Monitoring: Continue monitoring your property for any signs of regrowth and take immediate action if necessary.
  2. Community Awareness: Educate neighbours and local communities about Japanese knotweed and the importance of prevention and early detection.
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Japanese Knotweed Removal Costs

The costs associated with Japanese Knotweed removal can vary depending on various factors such as the extent of the infestation, the size of the affected area, and the chosen removal method. Understanding the potential costs involved can help you prepare and make informed decisions.

Professional Removal Costs

Hiring a professional Japanese knotweed removal service such as JKSL, can provide peace of mind and ensure effective eradication and although the Japanese knotweed removal cost can be an unexpected cost to your project, we believe that a job should only be done once, and done right, so please beware of cheaper imitations as they can often prove more expensive. By not completely removing Japanese knotweed infestation, you run the risk of regrowth and exponential costs as a result.

Identify Your Weed

Do you think you have a Japanese
knotweed infestation?

send in a photo

d1886d1666357d98905b1cf54fc565bd 1 | Japanese knotweed | JKSL

Additional Costs to Consider

Apart from the direct removal costs, there are other financial considerations to keep in mind. These may include:

  1. Legal Compliance: Ensure compliance with local regulations and obtain necessary permits, as legal requirements may add to the overall expenses.
  2. Property Damage Repairs: Japanese knotweed can cause structural damage to buildings and infrastructure. Depending on the extent of the damage, repairs and restoration work may be necessary, adding to the financial burden.
  3. Long-Term Management: Implementing long-term management strategies to prevent the re-establishment of Japanese knotweed may incur additional costs for regular monitoring, maintenance, and landscaping.

While Japanese knotweed removal costs can be significant, it is important to prioritise the well-being of your property and the surrounding environment. Addressing the issue promptly and effectively can help save you from further financial implications in the long run.

Contact JKSL Today To Discuss How We Can Help With Your Knotweed Growth.

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It is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed on your land and you do not have a legal duty to notify anyone that you have Japanese knotweed on your land.

However, there are laws which cover the spread and transport of Japanese knotweed, and without taking action it is possible that you may commit an offence, or be liable for action in the civil courts (you could be sued).

It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to plant or cause Japanese knotweed to grow in the wild. Prosecutions are very rare, however, and JKSL are not aware of any charges brought under this legislation for allowing Japanese knotweed to spread into a domestic property.

Japanese knotweed (and soil or other material containing Japanese knotweed) is considered “controlled waste” under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This means that if you move Japanese knotweed off your land there are various legal duties in how the waste is managed. Controlled waste can only be taken to licensed landfill – this is expensive, the material needs to be booked in with the landfill and there are limited sites which will accept Japanese knotweed materials.


You do not have any legal responsibility to treat Japanese knotweed – however (as outlined above), there are laws which cover what you must, can and cannot do with Japanese knotweed material.

In addition, there have been cases in the civil court where neighbours have been successfully sued for damages for allowing Japanese knotweed to affect adjacent properties.

Local authorities have the power to issue a “community protection notice” (CPN) to compel you to treat Japanese knotweed if it can be shown that you are causing an impact on “local amenity” through your failure to treat or manage the plant.

A Bristol company was prosecuted and fined £18,000 plus costs in 2018 for failing to comply with a CPN which ordered the control of Japanese knotweed on their land. The company was also ordered to secure a management plan from a specialist company within a month of the judgement.


Japanese knotweed is not the most damaging of plant species – but it can grow through tarmac and through small gaps or weaknesses in paving, concrete and other surfaces.

Where construction works are carried out in areas where Japanese knotweed is present, we have seen cases where the plant grows up through floorboards, or between gaps between the old and new construction, resulting in Japanese knotweed plants growing inside a house or commercial building. When this occurs, treatment becomes significantly more complex.